Five Minute Friday: Song

The following is a song that I have been listening to on repeat for the last several days. When the world gets loud, I want to hear His voice.

Here’s my heart Lord
Speak what is true

Here’s my life Lord
Speak what is true

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I’m made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

‘Cause You are strong, You are sure
You are life, You endure
You are good, always true
You are light breaking through

You are more than enough
You are here, You are love
You are hope, You are grace
You’re all I have, You’re everything

Click to hear David Crowder singing the album version of “Here’s My Heart” from the Passion CD “Let the Future Begin

What are you telling yourself these days? Are you listening to the world or to the one who knows you best?

Five Minute Friday: Comfort

Webster’s definition of comfort is this:
comfort |ˈkəmfərt|
noun
a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint
• (comforts) things that contribute to physical ease and well-being
• prosperity and the pleasant lifestyle secured by it

Who wouldn’t want this definition for themselves as well as being this definition for others?

When I first read the prompt I didn’t think of a deep and meaningful post to write. Several words and sentences came to mind that represent my definition of comfort. Just thinking about them brings me relief.

ComfortPajama pants.
Fuzzy pink socks.
Drinking hot chocolate from an over-sized mug, filled with floating marshmallows.
The Disney Store.
The way my overstuffed sofa envelopes me for an afternoon nap.
Chris’ hands.
Starring at the star filled ceiling from my boy’s bed when discussing the day, before sleep sets in.
A familiar voice on the other end of the line when I feel lost.
Knowing that I’m not alone.

Five minutes go by fast! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of comfort?

Five Minute Friday: Brave

This week’s word is one that I’ve used more in recent days than ever before. With myself…my daughter…my sons…it seems to be at the forefront of my mind. “Be brave. You can do this!” “Great job! You are so brave!” Sound familiar, Mamas?

I saw a perfect example of bravery from 2-year-old, Sophia today. It made me wish I was as brave and trusting of my Heavenly Father as she is of her earthly father. Her whole face smiled as she soared into the air without a single doubt that he would catch her. There was no fear in her eyes. She never took them off her daddy.

runningrunning to daddydaddy's armslift offin the airflyingthe catchback in daddy's armsHappy HeartTrue bravery, I believe, is running into the Father’s arms, ready for an adventure, knowing full well that as long as he is in control, there is nothing to fear. He always makes the catch.

Five Minute Friday: Rest

RestAhhhhh. I take a deep breath in and slowly exhale preparing for a few tranquil moments of meditation. Rest.

Last night a beautiful young friend and I were discussing this very thing. I watched as tears ran down her checks and onto her blouse. She wiped them away with the sleeve of her sweater while saying, almost in a whisper, “I just don’t feel as close to God and I’m not sure how to get back.”

One thing I’ve learned in my years of running is that when I feel distance it is not He who creates it. It is I.

For me, I can’t always reconnect without meeting Him under the circumstances of rest. Being still. Opening my hands to the heavens. “Here I am, Lord. I just want to sit here a while…in your presence…where restoration can be found.”

Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.” Why is being still so difficult?

I looked into the eyes of this remarkable young woman who, though just out of her teens, has played the role of mother, provider, protector and spiritual leader for her siblings since a very young age and therefore doesn’t know what it feels like or even how to be still.

I encouraged her to open emptied hands to the heavens, fully expectant of the blessings He would flood down, filling not only her hands, but her heart, mind and body. Pour out her cares to the God who formed every detail of her being in the womb of the mother who would leave her soon after. Allow someone else to bear her burden. Even if only for a while. Renouncing the illusion of control.

 Surrender, to me, is the epitome of rest.

Do you find time for rest? Is it difficult to be still? Join Lisa-Jo and a community of participants over at Five Minute Friday and tell us your story.

All but Ordinary

My babesI reach over to stroke his hair, purposefully avoiding his forehead. I’m almost afraid to check his temperature. The fever that set in days ago has been relentless, holding steady between 102 – 104.

The stars from the turtle nightlight illuminate the ceiling as they have for almost 5 years, stretching themselves across the door-frame, windows and closet door.

Why does it take sickness to slow me down? It reboots my perspective like nothing else. Lying in this bed, converted three times now, from crib to toddler to full size, on the jersey sheets, the whole world is right here in this moment. It’s quiet. The only sound is congested breathing from my almost 5-year-old and the patterned sleepy sounds of my 6-year-old in the bed next to his.

I find myself asking, “What did I accomplish today?”

I turn and look at my beautiful boys. The silhouette of their peaceful faces not hidden by the darkness.

I did what no one else on this earth could do the way I can. I soothed a sick little boy. I listened to the goings on of a 1st graders day while overseeing his homework. I prayed for physical healing and restoration. I fed, bathed, brushed the teeth and tucked in two little blessings dressed as my sons. I sang songs and rubbed warm, fever ridden backs and I thanked God for grace. I thanked Him for this incredible life of motherhood, redemption and unconditional love that is in fact…anything but ordinary.

This is the first time in several months I have participated in #FiveMinuteFriday. I am reminded of why I love this community so much. Wanna play? Here’s the skinny…5-minute-friday
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

In It to End It

fb_profile3Yesterday I disappeared…from social media, that is.
And as ridiculous and spoiled as it sounds, it was incredibly difficult.
I realized how often I quickly scroll through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest on my phone while sitting in traffic, in the carpool line, at my kitchen table, in the drive-thru at Starbucks, before falling asleep…crazy right?

It was eye-opening and heartbreaking to think of how technology has become so second nature that it’s a reflex when so many have no voice. When I want to say something, often of no importance, I hop on one of my many social media outlets and “express myself.” Yesterday, I had to stop multiple times throughout the day from logging into the loop of instant updates.

As I sit here on my chenille sofa, typing on my MacBook Pro, with a cup of hot tea at my fingertips (to help soothe the cold I feel coming on), I am forced to think of the 27 million people for sale. And it took tearing my grip from social media for 24 hours to really get my attention.

So…you may be thinking, WIIFM? Which, if you aren’t familiar with that acronym it means, “What’s In It For Me?” (We all ask it whenever faced with a difficult decision.)
Well, that depends on you. Honestly, I don’t know my part in all of this. I don’t know where my place is and how I can be an ember amid massive atrocity and unfathomable evil? The one thing I know to do is share it with you. The one thing I can do is write. So today, here in this place, I will raise awareness with my voice, for the many who’ve been silenced and left without choice. Today, I will do what I can with what I have.

What can you do? First, remember this quote that strips us of excuses while hopefully inducing laughter, “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never been to bed with a mosquito.”

Next, watch the short clip below, think about the faces fading in and out on the screen…picture someone you know in one of these hellacious scenarios…what would you do? Where would you start? Will you share this information on your blog, website and in your social media circles? You may not think it’s a lot, but it’s so much more than nothing.

Every picture you click on in this post with the End It logo will take you to their website. I will also have a button on the right side of my site with the End It logo that will lead to their website as well.


For more information and facts on slavery, you may download these PDF documents taken directly from the END IT website. Thank you.
fb_cover4Slavery Facts
Slavery Has A Face
END IT Manifesto
Rave Card

Finding my Muse

JoyHello Darlings! It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For those of you who have emailed and asked why I’m not consistently posting, “Thank you!” It means so much that you have missed my voice.

Please allow me to explain.

For more than a year, I have been in the process of making some rather BIG life choices. They have not been taken lightly or made in haste due to the weight they carry.

As of February 1, I am no longer employed in my comfortable position with incredible people who support me…I am officially a “Freelance Photographer” or “Self-Employed.” Isn’t that terrifying?! I am forced to take full responsibility for everything that I do even if I don’t want to. There’s no one to pass the buck to. I am the “Sole Proprietor.”

That’s right people! I’m using grown-up words. And they’re using me! I now have a CPA and an attorney. I plan for taxes long before tax season. My organized chaos is now my home office.

There are several factors that went in to my having no mode of transportation other than a leap of faith.1. I truly believe that God is leading me and he is faithful.
2. I have a man who champions my dreams while holding me accountable.
3. I believe in taking risks.

I have met some incredible people. I am working with everyone, from 4 day old babies to corporate giants. I believe that we are all spiritual beings with skin on and that rather levels the playing field. I could give you the whole speal about making a difference, blind faith and helping those who need a hand up, not a hand out, but I’ll save that speech for another day.

My purpose, here, on this page today, is to connect with my readers. With those of you who have encouraged me and moved me forward. Those of you who have trusted me with a story filled with vulnerable statements like, “I was too ashamed to post this in the comments…” I want you to know, I’m not going anywhere. I may be quiet for a bit while I’m figuring out how to integrate my writing with my photography.

For those people who say, “You can’t do both.”
I don’t agree.
There have been times in my life when I had no words, but a picture taken told the whole story.
So where I am not setting out to prove anyone wrong, I am embarking on this journey with a sound mind, a full heart and open hands. And when I allow others to make me feel like any of those things have been compromised, I quickly return to the basic truth that God is for me and when I am faithful in doing the work, He will deliver the blessings.

This first year (or three) will not be without struggle. Of that, I am fully aware. I am going into it with enthusiasm and trust. Nothing truly worth having in my life has ever come without sacrifice, humility and perseverance.

So today, friends, I am grateful. Grateful beyond the words on this page and blessed far greater than I deserve or could have ever imagined. The future is very bright.

Love and Light,
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